Post # 31
My mom and I weren’t so great when I was growing up. My parents were definitely the type to overreact if you told them less than great news, so my brother and I hid a lot because we felt like we couldn’t talk to them without getting in trouble. They took great care of us and we had everything and more than we needed, I could absolutely never complain about anything like that.
Now that I’m an adult, and I think things are generally less stressful for them, they’re like different people. They’re almost always happy and very calm. My dad in particular has done a 180 from his sort of high strung old self. It’s interesting. Now we get along very well. My mom and I text usually once a day. My parents adore my son. My mom did start out a little overbearing during my pregnancy but that was quickly fixed and she’s been an amazing grandma since. I’m very happy with our relationship now!
Post # 32
Thank you, it’s been very challenging. They raised us all to be compassionate, loving, justice oriented, etc so it just feels terrible to see them no longer living the values they raised me with. I definitely couldn’t go along with their new “values”; it’s against everything I believe is right and they’ve raised too stubborn and independent of a daughter to see my values crapped on and not do anything about it! I’m hoping one day they realize the path they went down and things change, but they seem far gone.
Post # 33
I could have written this post. My parents are Trump supporters as well and I’m definitely not. They’ve always been republican, but my dad especially I always thought was pretty level headed about it. Since Trump took office he and my mom have lost their marbles. They now read Breibert! There was a period over the summer where they were BOMBARDING me with political articles attacking my views. My dad and I would have these lengthy drawn out email exchanges about BLM, COVID, and other current topics, but we never got anywhere. He’d be like “libs love the term ‘systemic racism’ but they can’t actually cite a single example!” So I’d send him a long list of statistics with links to peer reviewed studies about how Black people are treated differently at all stages of the criminal justice system. He’d just pivot with a link to a video of BLM people rioting and then say that a Biden presidency will turn the U.S. into Venezuela. It was so frustrating.
I finally told my parents a few weeks ago I don’t want to discuss politics anymore, and so far they’ve respected it, but we’ll see how long that lasts. We don’t live in the same state so only see each other sporadically on visits, but we do talk a few times a week on facetime.
Post # 34
Sounds very very familiar unfortunately. Mine once in a while have been respecting the “no politics” rule, as in Ill visit and they’ll be good for a weekend, and then a week after I get home they send me a Breitbart article or tell me Biden is Antifa. I’m so drained from it, and tired of defending facts and human rights. I’m glad we have distance too – they are 12 hours away. It sucks though; I really sympathize. DH and I have been strongly considering skipping our annual Christmas trip to see them over this (they’re also not great about Covid).
Post # 35
My mom and I aren’t all that close. We do seem to do better now that we only see each other in small doses and have some distance (about 5 hours) between us. We talk on the phone maybe once per week at most.
She’s not a bad person usually, and I was never abused in any way, but she’s very body-focused and prides herself on being “honest,” which means she has a tendency to bring up my weight (I’m not really all that heavy.) I think sometimes she also takes my decisions to live my life differently as an attack on her choices… when to me, they’re just my choices.
As I’ve gotten older, we’ve found a few things we can easily and peacefully discuss, so we’ll chat or text about the flowers or vegetables in our gardens or books we liked/are reading in our respective book clubs. We have a mostly peaceful relationship, but it’s better for me to keep her at an arm’s length. (For example, we didn’t tell her about our infertility until about 3 years in when it was clear we’d need IVF. Now, we’re house shopping and haven’t told either set of parents.)
Post # 36
My mom and I are very close, atrhought I wouldn’t say best friends. I tell her a lot, and we usually email and msg through the day, but I don’t talk about things like….our sex life, or relaitonship issues like I would with a friend. Nor do I want to hear about ANY of that from her. Her and my dad had sex two times, and that’s what I always want to believe.
She is an absolutely phenomenal grandmother to my kids though, and as someone who never had grandparents growing up I’m so happy both my kids get to have that relationship with her and my dad.
Post # 37
I made the difficult decision to cut contact with my mom almost 2 years ago now. She has a variety of mental health issues that she refuses to seek treatment for (I suspect Borderline Personality Disorder and OCD among other things, but she has never been formally diagnosed/treated), and I eventually had to draw the line and make an ultimatum that I couldn’t have a relationshp with her until she is in treatment. That has not happened so we don’t have a relationship. It was a painful decision and I didn’t make it lightly. I’ve also been in intensive therapy since then, and it’s allowed me to unpack the way her mental health impacted me throughout my life and continues to impact me.
I dealt with abuse and neglect and was exposed to a lot of alcoholism, drug use, shouting matches between my mom and stepdad, and was put in a lot of unsafe and inappropriate situations growing up. My mom would fly into rages and scream at me and my siblings in a verbally abusive manner (many curse words and personal insults that got to our deepest insecurities) over the smallest things. My saving grace was having a wonderful, loving grandmother (who we eventually moved in with because my mom is reckless with money and wound up in bankruptcy) and being able to get out and move away as soon as I was old enough. I’m a high achiever so you’d never know this was my background.
My mom is excellent at putting on a different face to the outside world and comes off as charming, well-spoken, a bit eccentric maybe but sweet and loving. But with her kids she’d fly into rages and become a different person. As an adult I maintained a cordial and somewhat distant relationship with her until a few years ago, but she was constantly putting herself in self destructive situations, squandering opportuntiies when she had them, and calling me and my sister for help and then not following any of our advice. At some point I just couldn’t handle it anymore, I reached my breaking point. The fun, surface level phone calls we could have every once in a while and her loving sweet side were not worth the rest of it.
The past couple years have been the hardest of my adult life as I’ve delved back into my childhood experiences and peeled back some of my layers of coping mechanisms. It’s also been hard because, while strained relationships with parents are common, fully cutting a parent out of your life is still pretty socially unacceptable and it’s not something most people can relate to. Some of my friends know, but others do not. But I know the decision to cut her out has been the healthiest one for me.
In any case… I wish I had the kind of mother I could be friends with! I’m TTC and I can’t wait to be a mom and have a different kind of relationship with my future kids. Unfortunately my mom is a very ill woman who won’t get treatment. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.
Post # 38
My Mom and I have a good relationship. We were closer prior to the 2016 election (sad but true) so we both just steer clear of any political talk because we are so far apart. Unfortunately, because of that rift I don’t call my mom as often as I use to and that makes me sad (she rarely reaches out first). We do text every day or nearly every day (she lives in a different part of the country), sometimes it’s easier to share pictures of what we’re doing than talking on the phone. Because I am working from home I’ve been terrible with reaching out to her or anyone really, I use to do all of that on my commute. I am pregnant with my first and while my Mom does have a granddaughter via my brother, my SIL has made things unwelcoming over the years. I plan to make sure that my Mom is as involved with my kid as much as she can be. I want them to know each other and spend as much time as possible together (thankfully I have a very supportive husband who agrees). Despite our differences, she’s my mom and I want her in my life and I know she wants the same.
Post # 39
Really interesting to read these. It has me thinking a lot about acceptance or lack thereof?
My mom & I have a really good relationship: I enjoy her company hanging out as friends, we can talk about anything. Her acceptance when I came out was seamless, and she is a staunch supporter of my career, my interests, and my fiancée.
Most of the time our relationship now feels like loving friendship, although I value her insight when she puts on her “parent” role, and feel valued in return when she asks my professional advice.
Post # 40
I just wanted to applaud your strength in making a difficult, but ultimately healthiest decision — you go girl!
Post # 41
I love my mother, but I wouldn’t say we’re very close. I’m in my 30s, and I think we’re still working it out. She is very kind and nurturing was great at parenting when we were small — but as we became teenagers and young adults it felt like she had difficulty understanding our new interests and identities and respecting our need autonomy. As an adult, I’ve always felt like anything I share with her about my life she thinks over at length, questions and worries about it, develops a lot of opinions, and then wants to give me a bunch of unhelpful advice on exactly what I should do which she very forecefuly thinks i should follow and which is not at all informed by an understanding that I am not her! We have different personalities, tastes and ways of approaching things, and I think she fundamentally doesn’t get that the particular way she does things and likes things is just not for everyone. Not only a thing with her daughters — she often criticizes random people for liking things or doing things which she isn’t into, without any recognition that a lot of time she’s the weird/quirky one, or just that there are diverse people in the world who see things differently than she does. We just don’t have that much in common in terms of our interests or life paths.
I guess I feel like if I let her in deeply into the details of my life it would be suffocating and irritating, and we would constantly argue because I’d be constantly having to decline her “suggestions” again and again. As a result, I keep quite a bit of distance, at least in terms of my inner emotional life and anything that i feel delicate or complicated about. That said, I have made a point of settling down permanently within a 10 mintue drive of my parents, and am trying to find ways for us to play a bigger role in eachother’s lives. I’ve been finding that giving her things in my life that she can have all the input on she wants helps keep her out of areas where I don’t want her so involved. I had an aha moment about this when I was planning our wedding — she and I had a lot of conflict around the venue selection because we had totally different visions of what the party would look like, and have super different taste. So I held my ground on that, and then I strategically involved her in aspects that weren’t stressful for me — let her think she helped me choose my dress (picked it out with friends first and then had her come “approve” my choice, pretended I cared what she thought), had her and my dad do the fun food tasting with us, and carved out some parts of the wedding DIY tasks that could be 100% her responsibility — making fruit cake as favours, some sewing projects, choosing the wine. That kept her distracted and focused and she kept her nose out of most of the rest of it!
We are now settling into a new house near my parents and preparing for a baby. I didn’t want my mum’s input on our reno or any interior decor, BUT she’s an avid gardener so I’ve asked her to take 100% charge of landscaping our front yard and while it’s not all what i would choose she’s doing a great job, is very into it, and I don’t really care about the details so can just leave her to it. I really hope she will be an involved and hands-on grandmother and will be able to help us out a bit in the early baby fog days, and I bet there will be lots of tricky conflict to navigate around that, but I’m really hoping this new phase of life brings us closer in healthy ways.
Post # 42
I would say we are more close than most mom-daughter relationships that I know of. We talk like twice a day. We would have arguments perhaps once every 3 months and we would not speak for like 4 days to give space but after that, it’s back to normal.
Post # 43
My mother and I are not close at all. The only reason I have not cut her out completely is because we live far away and I only see her about once a year. That’s quite honestly all I can take. She was extremely abusive both physically and verbally growing up. Both my parents were. I’m quite certain she’s a narcissist. I suppose she loves me in her own way, maybe.
I always wanted the type of mom that wanted to spend time with me and envied my friends taking trips and lunches and just normal stuff. My mother didn’t enjoy my company and only sought me out to berate me about one thing or another.
She is also on the Trump bandwagon and we have been in contact even less than before because of that. She goes off on wild tangents and things I’m an idiot for not seeing him as this savior. It’s terrifying how captivated these die hard trumpers are and as the election nears I’ve avoided her calls and texts because I just cannot stand another word about it. My views could not be more opposite.
The silver lining is that I have learned through her treatment and behavior towards me to never treat my own kids that way. I try my hardest for them everyday and do everything I can to not be the kind of mother she is. My kids and I have a close and loving relationship and I try to enjoy every moment I spend with the and make them a priority. I have on occasion caught myself falling into destructive patterns that I have learned from my childhood but am working to correct those through therapy. My biggest fear is becoming her in any way and ruining the relationship I have with my own children.
I remind myself I am not her, even on my worst days. But abusive parents leave lasting marks on their children that can never be completely removed. But it’s my job to manage those and make sure they don’t present in a way that negatively affects my own relationship with my kids. She is a totally different person with them and I allow her to FaceTime with them once in awhile with me present. But I am so thankful we don’t live close by and she does not have a big influence in their lives, or mine.
Post # 44
- Wedding: January 1999 - Tacoma, WA
GIRL, we need to sit down and have some coffee. I could’ve written this post almost word for word
My heart goes out to you for having younger children. Once I realized I was allowed to walk away from my situation, my kids were 17/19 and chose to cut ties as well (they saw the absolute destruction she had caused me when it got really bad at the end and I wasn’t able to hide some things any more).
Also, your mom sounds like she has narcissistic tendencies. Be careful – she WILL try and use your children against you if given the chance.
Post # 45
My mom and I were super close growing up and she was very much my ‘person’, though I did give her a ton of grief during my angsty, know-it-all teen years, which I wish I could apologize for now. Sadly she passed away in 2009 when I was 21 after a 13 year battle with cancer – in a way I feel cheated because we had just started a new chapter in our relationship where we were entering a ‘friendship/peer’ phase since I had moved away for university and was living (mostly) independently. It felt like our conversations were starting to get deeper and I was getting to know her as the person she was, not just as my mother.
I’m now married with a five month old daughter of my own and I sometimes envision what our relationship would be like – texting her constantly just to chat, calling her to get parenting advice, watching her love my daughter like she loved me.
I already see a lot of my mom in how I parent and talk to my daughter and I hope that when she’s an adult herself, we will grow to have the kind of relationship and closeness my mom and I were lucky to share briefly before she passed.